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Framing Strategies in Role-Playing Games. 'My Pleasure': Toward a Poetics of Framing in Tabletop Role-playing Games

Jara Soto, David

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Abstract

The dissertation discusses the use and impact of “literary” framing (as by Werner Wolf) in generating and negotiating fictional spaces, narratives and meanings within the medium of tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs). In a second step, the text describes some of the specific and most salient framing features and strategies used by players during game sessions. By analyzing these through actual gameplay it is possible to identify the ‘transceptional’ border (Bunia) between reality and fiction to be the constitutive moment of role-play where players are both aware of, and immersed in, the fiction they collaboratively construct. Finally, the dissertation adapts Wolf’s theoretical framework in order to discuss and analyze the often overlooked category of “storytelling” TRPGs - one that, as the text argues, rather than focusing on narrative as such, aims at creating gameplay texts with heightened aesthetic and literary value while also enabling players to experience particular forms of immersion and deep emotional involvement. In the conclusion, the dissertation proposes re-conceptualizing literary framing as a defining characteristic of the fictional practice in general across media. In this regard, the dissertation argues, TRPGs reveal how framings are used and adapted in order to enable a specific mode of human interaction which is based on the figuration of emotional complexes via fictional “masks.”

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Schnierer, Prof. Dr. Peter Paul
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 30 July 2019
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 13:21
Date: 2021
Faculties / Institutes: Neuphilologische Fakultät > Anglistisches Seminar
Subjects: 100 Philosophy
150 Psychology
300 Social sciences
700 The arts
792 Stage presentations
793 Indoor games and amusements
800 Literature and rhetoric
Controlled Keywords: Rollenspiel, Spielwissenschaft, Paratext, Fiktionalität, Das Dichterische, Hypertext
Uncontrolled Keywords: Framing, tabletop role-play, dungeons & dragons, white wolf, fiasco, analog games
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